Wednesday 25 May 2016
Today, we went to the north and back again. We did not have to go all the way to Marilyn’s because Dave and Melissa (Sea Star Gardening), who live at the far north end of the Peninsula, had taken care of her garden yesterday. We now only have to go there every week, a nice arrangement.
Ilwaco Community Building
We stopped at the ICB to put some water on the newly planted Geranium ‘Rozanne’ plants. They had been cut back hard for transplanting.
I cast a fierce eye on the salal, as usual.
The Depot Restaurant
The Red Barn and Diane’s garden
Today was fertilizing day for the Red Barn’s barrels.
Basket Case Greenhouse
I had the desire to acquire just a few plants to fill in the dull area at the Depot.
back to the Depot
We backtracked to the Depot garden and put these plants in. The Cornus should brighten up the garden. I had thought of waiting till we went there for dinner later in the evening and was glad I had not as it would have been so hard to work around parked vehicles.
The Anchorage Cottages
We weeded, deadheaded, and fertilized all the containers and windowboxes.
I remembered while taking the above photo that manager Beth had expressed a desire for us to find a hanging basket for the office area. The Basket Case would be an easy detour on the way to our next job.
back to the Basket Case
I picked a multi coloured basket and we were on our way north to…
Klipsan Beach Cottages
In the A Frame garden, other helpers had tied the narcissi foliage into bundles.
There was some debate about who had clipped the Climbing Cecil Brunner rose before it bloomed. There were three possible culprits, one being Allan. Surely I would have noticed had Allan pruned the rose down to the fence top. I said I would find the photo that showed it after Allan pruned it two weeks ago. Oh well! As long as we didn’t do it, it’s not my problem. See how philosophical I have become? There is still plenty of beauty in the garden.
back to The Anchorage
…just to hang the new basket.
red to echo the chairs, and yellow to tone with the nearby sign
We had over an hour before dinner so we devoted it to weeding on the beach approach. Allan tackled some more clover:
back to the Depot Restaurant
for Burger Night dinner with Dave and Melissa!We were having a lovely week with two dinners with Dave and Mel, one tonight and one tomorrow.
an unpleasant end to a good day
We had gone back and forth between gardens today, and something happened in the evening that took me back to the bad feeling about the garden (more than just a job) that we had lost last week. I had reconciled myself to the loss, and the only bad moment earlier in the week was when I had seen the bus from that facility go by in Long Beach and felt kicked in the gut by the memory of how it used to warm the cockles of me heart to see the residents on an outing. Other than that, I was fine, really, till tonight. I liked having more time to devote to other (much better paying) jobs.
A friend who knew my mom well and who had followed the creation of the garden in her memory had written an irate letter to “corporate” re our being let go from our beloved garden. She was especially irked that we were never contacted by the new person in charge. She shared with me the reply from the new person in charge that completely made my head spin and brought up many questions.
Why would someone say that the condition of the exterior landscape was weedy and over grown and had become too much for us to handle when we were NEVER hired to pull ONE WEED from the exterior of the building and when our only job was the four small flower beds INSIDE the interior courtyard (as any examination of our invoices for the past five years would have indicated)? Even our string trimming of the tiny otherwise neglected courtyard lawn and our clipping of the courtyard window shrubs so residents could see out was beyond our actual job there.
How could great care have been taken in hiring a new landscape maintenance business when the great care did not include any communication with us about what our job had actually entailed? How could hiring a young man just starting out in the gardening business be better than having someone with 40 years experience? How does that build ties to the local community more than having longtime gardeners who have created many gardens for the community, both paid and volunteer, and who have over the past 23 years been involved in many community projects? How does that enhance the environment for residents more than the inspiration of having someone there who created a garden out of love and memory and donated plants? If job opportunities for young men are not plentiful here, how do they compare with job opportunities for most women in their 60s, and does that justify specifically choosing to hire a young man?
I remember how much I learned through experience in over 40 years of being a gardener and I wonder: Will someone just starting out know that the dahlias need protection from slugs, and that only non toxic bait must be used because a small dog takes walks in the garden? Will it be obvious that the annuals have not yet been planted so that the garden is still looking rather bare in spots? Will it be clear how to keep the thuggish plants from swamping the more delicate ones? Which plants need regular deadheading so that they will rebloom and which are once bloomers? Which is the better mulch to wheelbarrow down the long hallway, a good rich soil amendment or bark? Which of the roses donated by family members are outside the sprinkler area and how often do the white hydrangeas need supplemental water? What is the name of every unusual perennial in the garden? People do ask frequently.
If “corporate” had decided that they required just one business to mow the vast, dry outer lawn and do the interior courtyard, would it have been appropriate to ask us if we could like to add it to our tasks? We would have declined but would been more than willing to give the new gardener some information about the flower gardens.
If the facility powers that be are grateful for what we created for the residents, doesn’t gratitude usually involve some communication with the person to whom one is grateful? If it is time to pass the torch, doesn’t passing the torch usually involve the torch bearer being aware it is being passed? If a worker had not tipped us off to what was going on, would we have shown up for work and found we had been replaced? If we are invited back anytime to just look at our former gardens, why in all of creation and tarnation would we take precious time to visit a place where we might see plants that need care and be unable to care for them? Although before this fiasco I had always planned on returning to doing the flower beds as a volunteer if the budget got eliminated, returning as a bystander is of no interest.
Sleep again became elusive as a result of this ongoing saga. I will just say that three days later, I’m still bothered that it is being said that we did a bad job on the barked and weedy and dry exterior landscape area that was never even part of our job at all. If it HAD been, it would have been pretty near perfect.
One more question: Does any of it matter to me anymore? The answer is becoming: Not especially.
Two hours later: I feel enormously better having written about it here, for what I hope is the last time except for a possible future slideshow of the garden over six and a half years.
Ginger’s Garden Diaries
from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago
1998 (age 74):
May 25: Holiday. Planted more seeds. Also I put the remaining violet leaves back into jars and glasses. I needed the plant mix. Enough of the leaves had rotted that I was able to get them all into the jars. Some had started to root. I planted 55 packets of petunia seeds many of them 1995 and 1996. The Pacers beat the Bulls.